Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Beware the Fossil Fools: The Dismissal of Climate Change by Journalistic Nincompoops is a Danger to us All: "If it is true, as the government's new report suggested last week, that it is now too late to prevent hundreds of thousands of British people from being flooded out of their homes, then the journalists who have consistently and deliberately downplayed the threat carry much of the responsibility for the problem. It is time we stopped treating them as bystanders. It is time we started holding them to account. 'The scientific community has reached a consensus,' the government's chief scientific adviser, Professor David King, told the House of Lords last month. 'I do not believe that amongst the scientists there is a discussion as to whether global warming is due to anthropogenic effects. It is man-made and it is essentially [caused by] fossil fuel burning, increased methane production... and so on.' "

"There is a discussion about whether global warming is due to anthropogenic (man-made) effects. But it is not - or is only seldom - taking place among scientists. It is taking place in the media, and it seems to consist of a competition to establish the outer reaches of imbecility.... What makes all this so dangerous is that it plays into the hands of corporate lobbyists. A recently leaked memo written by Frank Luntz, the US Republican and corporate strategist, warned that "The environment is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general - and President Bush in particular - are most vulnerable... Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need... to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue." We can expect Professors Hitchens and Phillips to do what they're told. But isn't it time that the BBC stopped behaving like the public relations arm of the fossil fuel lobby?"

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